On Monday I'm headed to ISC-West in Las Vegas for a few days...will I see any of you there? And in a few weeks I'm making my first-ever trip to Missouri AND Kansas! If you're in the area, I'll be playing Code Jeopardy with the MO KAN Chapter of DHI on April 25th in Kansas City, and debuting my new game-show presentation - Decoded: 1 vs. 100, on April 26th in Overland Park, Kansas.
I can hardly believe that it has been 4 years since I wrote the very first post on this site. What's most amazing to me is that even though I have posted at least 3 times per week, for a total of 759 published posts to date, I still have a long list of topics to write about. We've always known that hardware is complicated, but who knew I could write about it 759 times and still have something to say?
I have quite a few letters after my name. They won't all fit on my business card, and my email signature looks silly if I include all of them. There are some that I can use just for joining an organization and paying my annual membership fee, which seems too easy. But I proudly display the designations for the certifications I've achieved, because they all represent many years of experience, hours of studying, and rigorous tests. When someone sees my business card or email signature for the first time, they often key in on the designations they're familiar with. Those certifications immediately communicate that I have some level of knowledge about the topic - that I made the investment to achieve the certification. Obviously the letters don't say everything about who I am, but they help with the first impression and then it's up to me.
This post was printed in the February 2013 issue of Doors & Hardware
A few weeks ago, Ingersoll Rand announced plans to spin off the combined commercial and residential security businesses into a new standalone publicly held company. I immediately started getting calls and emails from blog readers asking what this meant to me and to our other employees, the brands, and this website. One hardware distributor said, “I can’t imagine the hardware business without Schlage, LCN, and Von Duprin in it!” I was very touched by the concern for our people and products.
Last year I published a post about the two common types of smoke detectors - ionization and photo-electric detectors. There was a report on NBC News tonight about this same topic. In case you missed the first post or didn't get around to checking the detectors in your home, here's a follow-up:
I'm in sunny Phoenix this morning, getting ready to head over to the convention center for the CONSTRUCT show. I know that some of you are here too! Last week at our local CSI meeting, 5 different people came up to me and said, "I HATE HARDWARE!", usually with a theatrical grimace, a stomp of the foot, or a shaken fist (or all of the above) and a little smile. I'm happy to represent the industry that architectural specifiers love to hate because there are plenty of us who are here to help you.
It’s time. Today.
I'm going to be traveling a fair amount over the next couple of months, and if you'll be where I am I'd love to see you! This afternoon I am headed to our office in Carmel, Indiana, to continue training our newest batch of specwriter apprentices. The door and hardware industry seems to always have trouble attracting new people, and specwriters are usually created over a long career filling other roles in the industry. Well, Bill Lawliss and I have risen to the challenge and are working with some recent college graduates to teach them everything we know about doors and hardware. They've already learned a lot and this week we will continue with some more training on hardware applications. If you or anyone you know might be interested in participating in this training program in the future, let me know!
I am frequently asked if I have a photo of a particular application. There are almost 2,500 images on this site, so it's likely that I do have the photo someone is looking for, but finding it is not easy. As the number of images grows, it will get worse.
When I was the editor of CSI's Boston Chapter newsletter, I was added to the distribution list for Ralph Liebing's weekly editorial, Per-SPEC-tives. This week's was a tribute to product representatives who partner with architects and specifiers (which I know many of us do), so I asked Ralph if I could publish it here. Enjoy!
In the last month there have been almost 8,000 visits to iDigHardware...about a 30% increase over the same period last year. That's so exciting!! I was helping out with a class today (Preparing for a Fire Door Inspection taught by Jeff Tock of Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies), and several people mentioned that they were frequent visitors to the site. One told me that I "got him hooked on Doors & Hardware magazine" (when was the last time you heard that?). During the class I received an email that cracked me up, which read in part:
Is it my imagination or do most architects wait until the last possible moment to ask for help with their hardware specifications? Why is that?? My theory is that most of them hate hardware so much that they can't bear to look at it or think about it until it's almost too late. I feel the same way about my taxes. Nope, I haven't done them yet. I wonder if H&R Block will take good care of me when I call on April 14th.
With 3 young kids in school and spending a fair amount of time in school buildings, school shootings hit very close to home for me. The most recent shootings in Chardon, Ohio resulting in the death of 3 students are just so senseless and tragic. The raw pain of the victims' parents is excruciating to watch.
...Well, one of my most embarrassing professional moments, anyway.
It’s official – I have a new job (woohoo!). For the last 3 years while I’ve been getting to know all of you and putting as much code/application information on this site as possible, I have also been managing our specification team for New England. At times it has been a struggle to do both, hence the late-night blog posts.
I'm on a mini-vacation with my family for the holidays, but I've already spotted some doors of interest for you so I will post those soon.
I really appreciate all of the comments and suggestions that were left in response to my post called WWYD? Cross-Corridor Pair. I love the collaboration and I know we can all benefit from the experience of others as well as the different points of view.
It's almost impossible to imagine a fire of this magnitude, which began on November 9th, 1872. More than 770 buildings burned in less than 20 hours, most of them commercial buildings that were previously thought to be fire-proof. Several problems contributed to fighting the fire - the flu that had stricken most of the horses used to pull the fire engines, the attempts to reduce the fire load by exploding kegs of gunpowder inside of buildings, an inadequate water supply, and the crowds of spectators and looters filling the streets.
Have you ever had a few minutes to spare between meetings or while waiting for someone, and you wondered what was going on over at iDigHardware? Well, now you can find out! If you log into the site from your iPhone, Android, or iPad, you will be automatically directed to the new mobile version of iDigHardware. You can check out recent posts, access some of the more popular areas of the site, or search for the post that will make you a hero when you whip out the information someone is desperately looking for.
Last month I told you that I would be drawing 5 names from my list of connections and subscribers in honor of my 500th post, to win their choice of prizes (an LCN 4040XP closer, a Schlage CO lock, a Schlage residential keypad lock, or a $50 Amazon gift card). Yesterday was my daughter Norah's 5th birthday, and she chose the 5 winners at random.
Here are some links to recent door-related social media activity. Enjoy!
I just got final confirmation that Zeke Wolfskehl and I will be teaching a code class for architects at the 36th annual DHI Conference in New York City! Prior to the adoption of the 2008 NYC Construction Code, the NYC Building Code was almost as old as me(!), so we're thinking it's a good time to make sure everyone is up to date on the current requirements related to doors and hardware. We'll talk about the 2003 edition of the International Building Code and what has changed in the more recent editions, as well as variations in the Life Safety Code and the New York City and New York State codes.
I've been thinking about this post for 2 weeks, and I'm stumped. It's my 500th post on this blog. It seems like 500 posts should warrant some sort of fanfare...maybe a cake?! (in our office we use any excuse to have cake). I've been trying to think of a tie-in to 500 somethings, a related photo I could include, but the pressure has clouded my brain.
Over the last year, I've really started to understand the valuable communication tool that social media has become. Every time I write a blog post, a notification of the post is immediately seen by at least 1500 people. If any of those connections comments, tweets, or "likes" the post, it is then shared with their network of connections. One of my recent tweets was retweeted to over 4,000 people - not a big deal in comparison to celebrity twitterers, but we're talking about doors here!
Some interesting stats...if your state isn't in the Top 10, tell your friends to come visit iDigHardware!
Update: Relay for Life is tomorrow, so if you would like to make a donation, today's the day! Luminarias in honor, memory, or support of a loved one are available for $10 by following the link below. I'm a little over $100 away from my goal. I appreciate your help!
I was pleasantly surprised to open my June issue of the Construction Specifier this morning, and find an article called "Architectural Hardware Specifications," by Joseph D. Calvert, CSI, CDT, AHC of Calvert Independent Hardware Specifications. The article does a great job of explaining the value of an AHC. Joe describes the coordination that we manage between various trades, the complex hardware sets and riser diagrams that we produce for openings with electrified hardware, and the detailed analysis that we perform when creating the hardware sets and reviewing the submittal - including the required function, durability, codes, and aesthetic requirements.
I hope you are all enjoying a safe Memorial Day weekend.
Another blogger wrote about iDigHardware! Check it out!
I guess the blog's subscriber system decided to go on vacation too, and I just realized that you weren't receiving notification emails! There are a couple of posts waiting for you, and I'd also like to announce the winners of the "A Penny for Your Thoughts" contest!
Anyone who knows me personally, knows that I'm a helper. I like to help. I'm always organizing collection efforts for one thing or another, donating items for our local schools, pitching in when I can. There are so many people in need, and if we all help a little, the world will be a better place for everyone.
A penny won't get you too far these days...I have to bribe my kids with at least a dollar to get them to do anything. So I'm going to up the ante. I'm offering a chance to win 10,000 PENNIES!
I don't ask for much, right? But I need a little help. I've been posting on this blog for over 2 years and there are more than 400 posts. I know it can sometimes be hard to find the specific post or topic you're looking for. You can search by typing something into the search box, but when I just typed "panic hardware," I got a list of 49 posts that mentioned that term. You can also go to the index and get a list of all the posts for any given category, but those lists can be pretty long too. As an example, the Fire Door category currently has 91 posts.
For my subscribers on the west coast...check out the rise of the Supermoon tonight! The rest of you can enjoy the beautiful full moon too, but moonrise in Boston was at 7:16. It was amazing! Yes, I do occasionally take photos of something besides doors.
The blog has hit the big time! American Express wants to give Idig Hardware a gold card! :-)
I'm working on a post for tomorrow that will solve another hardware mystery (regarding closers on classroom doors), but in the meantime, a couple of housekeeping issues...
There have been lots of changes around here in the last few months...we moved the site to a new server and a new URL, and things seem to be running smoothly. We've added an archive in the sidebar, and reformatted the search results pages and the category index pages to match. My coworker, Lindsey Weiss, has spent many hours checking each post for broken links and posts that were missing the 2009 code excerpts, as well as updating the photo gallery. She's in the process of checking the categories assigned to each post, so the correct posts show up on each category index page. I'm very grateful to Lindsey for helping me clean up my act, and for Creekside Systems for working behind the scenes. I hope these changes will help you find things and navigate around on the site more easily.
By now I'm sure some of you are wondering if I'm lying in a ditch somewhere, but I'm not! Our website host has had some problems on the server side which left me unable to log in since last Thursday. :-(
Some of the more attentive ihatehardware readers may have noticed a few little changes with the site lately. For a long time I've been thinking about adding another domain name for my blog, indicating my true feelings about doors and hardware. The original domain name, www.iHATEhardware.com, was chosen because almost all of the architects I work with hate or at least have an extreme dislike for hardware, so that URL is easy for them to remember.
Last week I said that as new countries came to visit this site, I'd post a door photo from that country. Sounds like fun, right? Well, it's not as easy as it looks from where you're sitting.
I'm working on the next post about smoke but this has been an extremely busy week.
As I've said before, I often look at my stats and see how people arrived at my blog. I see a lot of people searching for information about fire door inspection and other information about fire doors, when to use panic hardware and various egress questions, and plenty of accessibility questions. Sometimes people arrive searching for something a little different, so I thought it would be fun to share these requests on occasion.
Someone emailed me last week to ask if Ingersoll Rand was hiring. Good question - it's been a really long time since I've perused the want ads. Back in 1987, I was laid off from my job as a draftsman for an aluminum storefront supplier and had to go on the hunt for a new job, but since then the jobs have usually found me. The hardware business is very small, which is great because we all know each other, but sometimes it can be a little awkward. About 10 years ago a recruiter called to ask if I was interested in a job, and not only did I know the person who currently held the job, he didn't know he was leaving yet! Yikes!
In case you haven't noticed, there's a new photo gallery tab at the top of the page. The gallery includes thumbnails of some of the photos I've used in previous posts, and when you click on the thumbnail it will take you to the applicable post. (If any of them take you to the wrong post, let me know!)
It still amazes me when I see visitors from countries who haven't visited the site before, and the fact that we are now over 100 countries is so exciting! Here are the most recent countries, which pushed us over the 100-country mark:
One year ago today I wrote the first post on this blog, regarding panic hardware on electric rooms. I don't remember why I chose that topic for my first post, but I tried to post answers to some of the most commonly asked questions before I introduced the site to anyone. Since then I have published 217 posts!